The Peconic Land Trust was awarded a $1 million grant from the Long Island Regional Economic Development Council through Empire State Development to protect the economic viability of the farming industry in Nassau and Suffolk counties.
The assistance is being offered to Long Island farmers because of the high costs of farmland and production. The money will fund “The Farmers for the Future” Agriculture Capital Equipment Program with the intention to offer aid to 50 to 100 beginning and established farms. The grant is expected to function over a three-year period of time in which they’ll assist farmers in acquiring the equipment they need to expand or diversify their businesses as well as meet the regulatory demands of improved food quality and safety standards.
The Agricultural Capital Equipment Grant Program is currently available to assist established and beginning Long Island farmers make capital investments for their farming operations. Eligible farmers accepted under the program may seek reimbursement for up to 20% of the purchase cost of new or used capital equipment and infrastructure. The maximum amount awarded per farmer, applicant or farming operation is $25,000.
Agricultural equipment and infrastructure can be considered for reimbursement if the equipment and infrastructure is used for at least one of several purposes. The first is if the equipment and infrastructure is a part of a beginning farm operation, including emerging, second-career, next-generation or transitioning farmers with an operation less than 10 years old. The second reason that makes one eligible to receive reimbursement is if an established farm operation transitions to a new commodity, method of production, or new business plan. The third option that allows eligibility would be an established farm operation upgrading equipment and infrastructure to come into compliance with the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) and other food safety regulations. Farmers looking for reimbursement are held to these requirements so that the grant can be spread to help as many farming businesses as possible.
For more information and the grant application, visit:peconiclandtrust.org/Future.html
Additional information is also available by contacting the Peconic Land Trust at AgGrant@PeconicLandTrust.org, or by calling 631-283-3195.